Now that we’ve all but ensured our survival in the Premier league, I’ve got to thinking about what the future holds for us.
First off, as it’s the biggest story surrounding the club at the moment, has to be the rumoured takeover.
Is it going to actually happen?
I don’t have a clue and neither does anyone else, regardless of what comes out in the media.
There has been a lot of speculation though which has been fuelled by Randy Lerner’s somewhat puzzling statement that he’d address the issue when the season has ended.
My thoughts on that are that if he isn’t going to sell, he’d have come straight out and said so.
The fact that he didn’t surely means that there’s at least going to be an investor coming in, although I don’t see that as likely myself. It just doesn’t strike me as the way Lerner works.
So, with a takeover seeming most likely, you would hope that would mean a decent amount of investment.
Which leads us to the manager.
As an outsider looking in at the Villa with a view to buy the club, would you really want Paul Lambert to remain in charge?
I don’t think so. While you might want him from a financial point of view, what sort of message would retaining him send to the fans?
To my mind, it would send a message that says things stay pretty much as they are and that would surely be unacceptable.
While I’d maybe concede that the manager has done a decent job of working on a shoestring, I could also counter that he’s spent a lot of money on players who hadn’t a hope in hell’s chance of taking us to the level we require. Not yet, at least.
In Lambert’s defence, he has made a couple of decent signings in the likes of Benteke and Okore, but I think that most of us would say that his signings on the whole have been pretty poor.
Then again, I could say “well, what do you expect when you’re signing dirt cheap players on relatively dirt cheap wages?”.
I could debate with myself all day on this, but what sums it up for me comes down purely to the football itself.
And for the vast majority, it’s just been shocking. Never in all my years of supporting the Villa have I felt so bored watching us. And that surely can’t be right.
I can partly understand him taking a pragmatic approach, but I’m sorry, this is Aston Villa we’re talking about. While we don’t have a god given right to anything whatsoever, we’re at least entitled to watch an entertaining game. I don’t see Lambert bringing that to us.
He has to go, simply for that reason.
I’m going to add a poll asking the question here, as because even though this is known as a somewhat negative site, I’m wondering how many would be in favour of him staying. Not many, I suspect, but we’ll no doubt see.
So, on the assumption that the manager leaves, who will come in to replace him?
I don’t have a clue here, same as most of us and the subject has been done to death.
But surely with a new owner coming in, he’d want to create a good impression wouldn’t he?
Which would have to mean a decent manager. By that I mean someone who has achieved at a higher level than Paul Lambert. And no doubt someone who would want a sizeable pot of money for new players.
Which leads us nicely on to the current squad.
Who would we keep?
Off the top of my head, I’d be looking to keep Guzan, Benteke, Delph, Wiemann, Bacuna, Vlaar, Albrighton and possibly Gabby. I might have missed one or two others, but the point is that I don’t really feel I’ve seen much in the rest of the squad that can take us to a higher level.
I might be a bit unfair in saying that, as I’ve just excluded many of our “up and coming” youngsters.
But I have the attitude that I want players that can achieve immediately, not sometime in the future.
We’ve tried the young and hungry approach and it simply hasn’t worked. And anyway, I’m totally fed up with the “jam tomorrow” attitude.
While we supposedly have a very good academy when it comes to players going on to play for other clubs, albeit at a lower level, we’ve never really produced any top notch players have we? You can cite the odd example, like Cahill, but the likes of him are few and far between.
No, the academy is unfortunately not the answer if we’re to actually achieve anything substantial, anytime soon.
Which leads us to expectations and mine are not really very high.
I want us to be challenging for a top 6 place and I don’t believe that’s unreasonable in the slightest. While the top 4 would be nice, I think that’s probably unrealistic, I’m afraid.
We can but hope, I guess.
I couldn’t end without saying something about the CEO.
Paul Faulkner also has to go too. While he might be good from a financial perspective, it’s apparent that he isn’t the footballing man that we need to run the football side of things.
So should we get a director of football to replace him?
I’m not sure, but we definitely need someone who knows about the game amongst the new hierarchy.
So, pretty much a clearout is on the cards then, in my opinion.
Which could lead to some very interesting times.
Here’s hoping that whatever happens, we can move forward with some signs of ambition and renewed belief for next season.
UP THE VILLA!